Archive for April, 2005

Return to Her Homeland

by Ty Matthews

Maha Murfiq, 19, has not been to her home country of Palestine since she was two years old.

This summer she will travel, along with her brother and sister, to learn more about their home country. They plan on spending much of their time sight-seeing and learning about Palestine.

Murfiq and her family moved to the United States because of her father’s work. Despite having been in the US since she was two she is still fluent in her native language of Arabic.

In the fall Murfiq, who has a 3.5 grade point average at Pellissippi, plans on enrolling in the University of Tennessee and majoring in business management. After graduating from UT, she plans on either enrolling in law school or fulfilling her dream of owning her own company.

Murfiq’s commitment to her Muslim faith and her love for her family drives her in life. She says she loves the variety of ethnic groups and religious faiths in America.

Murfiq does not know much of what to expect on her endeavor this summer to her native land Palestine. However, she is excited to go back and visit the country where her mother and father were raised.

Friday, April 22nd, 2005

Phi Theta Kappa to host car wash

by Katrina Jordan

Come get your car washed and support the American Cancer Society on April 22 at the Turkey Creek Wal-Mart.

From 1 p.m. to sunset, Phi Theta Kappa will be washing cars to raise money for the American Cancer Society. A five dollar donation per car is suggested.

PTK’s faculty advisor, Carol O’Farrell, says that in addition to the car wash money, Wal-Mart has agreed to match some of the money donated.

According to O’Farrell, PTK will be hosting two more car washes on May 21 and June 4.

PTK is also looking for volunteers to help at the car washes. They are always welcoming non-member volunteers. If interested in volunteering, contact Carol O’ Farrell at (865) 694-6443.

Monday, April 18th, 2005

2 + 2 = Four

by Joslynn Heath

Pellissippi has finalized an agreement with East Tennessee State University (ETSU) that allow students to earn both an associates and a bachelor’s degree at Pellissippi.

The program called “University Connection” ensures students are able to keep from relocating and keep the small classes and low cost that Pellissippi offers. Students now have an option of earning an associates degree and a bachelor’s degree without ever leaving the Pellissippi campus.

Dr. Edwards, President of Pellissippi refers to University Connection as, “A fascinating opportunity for our students.”

According to Dr. Edwards, students can continue to earn an associates degree at Pellissippi State in majors such as Civil Engineering Technology, Systems Technology, Geographic Information and Interior Design Technology.

After receiving the associate’s degree, students are able to earn a bachelors degree from ETSU by fulfilling their coursework on the Pelissippi campus.

Available bachelor’s degrees include Engineering Technology/Construction, Engineering Technology/Industrial, Geography, and Family Consumer Sciences/Interior Design.

Freshman and sophomores can enter these programs by taking the appropriate pre-requisite courses at Pellissippi.

According to Dr. Edwards, in addition to the connection with ETSU, Pellissippi has made a similar connection with Tennessee Tech University (TTU) by creating a new program focused on elementary education. This joint program for teaching Kindergarten through Sixth grade allows you to earn a bachelors degree with TTU.

Once a student completes the teacher education curriculum, he or she is awarded a baccalaureate diploma and fully equipped to start a career in teaching Kindergarten through sixth grade.

To learn more about the “University Connection” with ETSU and TTU call (865) 694-6449, or check out the website or

Monday, April 18th, 2005

Intramural Sports Keep Rolling

By Andrew Neal

The spring semester is winding down, but there is still a lot going on in intramural sports.

The intramural basketball tournament is already underway, but there are still a few games left. Games nine, 10, and 11 will be played Tuesday April 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the REC center.

Games 12 and 13 will be played on April 14 starting at 6:30 p.m.

The final game will be played on April 19 at 6:30 p.m.

The teams that are still alive in the tournament are the Trojans, the Random Ballaz’s, the Tar Heels, the Blazers, and the Beast Mode.

Sign up sheets are still available for the golf and chess tournaments.

The golf tournament will be held April 15 at Dead Horse Lake Golf Course at 12 p.m. Students play free and for all others the cost is $25.

Jason Knight, winner of last semester’s chess tournament will be playing again this year at the tournament which is April 14 in the student lounge at 2 p.m.

Monday, April 18th, 2005

Dress to Impress

by Jordan Dawson

Laura Barron, president of The Barron Group, instructed Pellissippi students on how to do well in any job interview.

Barron explained that there are four key factors to consider when in an interview: first impressions, meeting and greeting, interviewing as a professional and last impressions.

“First impressions are critical when in a job interview,” Barron told her audience. “The secret is presentation. You need to look clean and pressed.” She said that you could be the most experienced person for the job, but if your presentation is poor, you probably would not get the job.

Also, Barron explained that, when in an interview, you should be alert, confident and prepared. A good attitude is a must, and you should also bring your portfolio and knowledge about the company and the job being applied for.

Good body language and posture should be used.

Barron told the attending students, “An employer already has your resume and transcript, so they want to see how you present yourself. This tells them how you will represent them.”

“Also, even if you’ve met someone before, you should still give your name with a handshake,” Barron said.

Barron also said that, while being interviewed, you should do something non-distracting with your hands and keep them visible.

She also gave an ‘interview dress code’ to the students.

Men should wear a navy blue or black suit, a light blue or white shirt, leather or dress shoes, high dark socks, and the tie should end at the top or center of the belt.

Women should wear a black or navy blue knee length skirt or a suit with trouser style pants, a tailored coat dress, closed toe and open heel shoes, and stay away from dangling earring, as they can be distracting.

For a lasting impression, after you leave the interview and regardless of whether you get the job or not, you should send a handwritten thank you note to the person who interviewed you, thanking them for the time and opportunity.

Monday, April 18th, 2005

Sale Raises Over $900 For The March of Dimes

by Joseph Thomas
The March of Dimes held their annual “beanies” and candy bar sale March 15-16 and 22-23, which raised $954 for the organization.

Michelle Coggins, chairperson of the March of Dimes campaign committee, said the money, except for the cost of the beanies, would go to the March of Dimes.

“The money for the March of Dimes goes to premature babies and promoting healthy babies,” said Coggins.

The March of Dimes has an annual sale every March and April.

The beanies cost $5, with half of the profits going to the organization and the other half going into buying the beanies from the manufacturer.

Coggins said, “The faculty and student body were very supportive because it is a good cause and organization.”

The candy bar sale will run until April 20. Students or faculty interested in donating money to the March of Dimes or Walk of America, contact Michelle Coggins at 694-6450 or

Online registration is available for Walk of America at and anyone can fill out walk forms at Coggins office in AL 201-B.

Friday, April 15th, 2005

Jazz Band to Perform Free Concert

by Chris Murray

The Pellissippi State Jazz Band is set to ‘jazz’ up your life with a free concert on Tuesday, April 19 at 8 p.m. in the Pac Auditorium.

“The concert is going to feature the Pellissippi State Jazz Band with six guest vocalists plus tenor saxophonist Lance Owens, who is a 65-year veteran of the Knoxville jazz scene,” Director of Pellissippi Jazz Ensemble Tom Johnson said.

The band will be performing compositions by a wide variety of composers, including George Gershwin, Mel Torme, Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, Thelonious Monk, Lee Morgan, Billy Eckstine and Knoxville’s own Donald Brown.

Pellissippi State student vocalists will be Stacey Sasser, Jessica King, Kourtney Hennard, Scott Martineck and Andrew Young. They will be accompanying the band as well as faculty member Laura Maune. Michael Compton will be featured on the guitar.

“I feel like it is a really strong program and it has a lot of variety. We are doing songs by a wide variety of composers, featuring student vocalists who are gaining valuable experience singing with a group,” Johnson said. “Many of the student vocalists involved have probably only performed with piano accompaniment and here they are getting a chance to perform accompanied by an entire band, often including a horn section.”

Many components of the band have been together for quite a while, and Johnson is pleased with how the members of the band have progressed over the semesters.

“I have some really talented students this time. Some people have been in the band for as long as four or five semesters and this may be the last semester for some of the strongest players in the band,” Johnson said. “So this is a chance for Pellissippi students and the community to hear these folks while they are still around Pellissippi.”

Johnson says, “It’s just a chance for people to get a better appreciation of the Pellissippi State music department and of the jazz band in particular.”

Johnson encourages anybody interested in the Jazz Band to visit it’s website at, where you will be able to find various audio and video clips of past performances.

Friday, April 15th, 2005

New building to be built at Blount County campus

by Josh Thorne

Pellissippi State hopes to begin construction on a new facility located on the Blount County campus in the next five years. The plan’s time frame will depend on the outcome of the state legislature’s annual budget.

The project, which is expect to take between five and ten years to complete, will replace the existing one building and four portable classrooms. It will greatly improve the capacity and options offered at the Blount County campus.

The proposed building has a price tag of an estimated $11 million and will be incorporated into two phases. The existing structures will remain in use during phase one as the first portion of the new building is being built.

The two-story, 58,000 square foot building, will house all of the existing classes on the Blount County campus. Phase two calls for the demolition of the old building and will serve as the site for the 30,000 square foot section of the building. Once completed, the campus will also have new parking lots for both students and faculty.

Unlike the Hardin Valley Road campus, the Blount County campus does not offer a full range of courses for a student to take all of their courses at that site for their degree. The new facility will, in concept, allow students the opportunity to finish their education without having to commute to other campuses.

Thursday, April 14th, 2005

Drama Club presents interactive murder mystery

by George Harrison

The Blount County campus’ Drama Club is hosting a murder mystery dinner with a 1920-30’s gangster speakeasy theme. “Murder at the Four Deuces” will be presented on Saturday April 16 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Students are encouraged to dress up as gangsters, politicians, singers, and gamblers of the 20’s and 30’s. Money will be given at the door to join in the treachery, blackmail, deceit, and intrigue.
The murder mystery game is interactive, and the audience gets to guess who the murderer is.

The event will be set up in the Student Lounge of the Blount County Center. It will be set up to look like a speakeasy with an Italian dinner, live jazz, gambling, and due to prohibition, an illegal, pretend bar.

For more information contact Dorothy Donaldson at 981-5322 or at

Thursday, April 14th, 2005

Sams Balances School and Missions

by Ty Mathews

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” Matthew 28:19, is one of the more popular verses throughout all of Christianity.

Eric Sams, a 21-year-old Pellissippi student’s life is lived in direct obedience to this verse.

When Sams was 15, he took his first of 16 foreign mission trips. He has participated in mission efforts to Mexico, Honduras, Venezuela, England, Russia, and Sudan.

Sams says the purpose of these trips is to empower the American Church leader and serve the local church’s needs in the area they are ministering.

Sams is an employee of, “It Took A Miracle Ministries (ITAM).” He works in the administrative part of the ministry and helps lead the trips they take across the world.

Balancing schoolwork with his mission work can often become a tough task to handle. “It is not easy. I look at my school as a way God is preparing me to do His work in the future. There are times when my school schedule does conflict with a mission effort of something else, and I simply have to ask God for discernment on what to do,” Sams says.

Sams will be graduating from Pellissippi in May with an associate’s degree in Business Management. He will then continue his education next year in the Tennessee School of Business to obtain his bachelor’s degree.

He says he plans on continuing his work leading missions with ITAM as well as heading up much of its administration locally after he finishes college.

Despite the hardships of having such a demanding life in school and outside of school, Sams said of his strong desire to lead people on trips, “It is a part of me. Jesus loves the people of this world and wants to show them love through His body. I am a part of that body. God has blessed me with resources and opportunities, and I am responsible to take advantage of those opportunities.”

Sunday, April 10th, 2005